Foto: Roberto Rocco

Photography, my stepsister

Renato Zero
story to tell

Photography and I have always been distrustful of one another. It tried to force me in the shot, limiting in this way my space and reducing my field of vision.  My exaggerated showy nature obviously left no room to justify the static nature that is the fundamental reason of its mandate. Contrasts.  A difficult coexistence. Yet we flirted for a while, we exchanged knowing glances and promises of eternal sharing… But I never humored it. Not much anyhow. I had to concede a few shots, now and then, to appease my photographer friends; or as a register of birth for my works of music; in the shape of phonograms, posters, and bills. Just to get back to my real life, to the natural movement set by time, by encounters. By my need not to feel spied upon, observed, searched by the invading yet alluring lenses. Were those slides good for me? I don’t know. A game. That is something I can accept! The fact that it has been a game makes me feel good and less guilty. Vanity has nothing to do with it. Here, on this set we call life, you either love yourself or you don’t. Trying to stop the moments is a criminal way of killing your future. Delegating to a shot the responsibility of granting us an everlasting existence. The eyes work way better than the most sophisticated lenses. Inside is where the interesting things happen. It is inside that we appreciate the fragrance and the charm of people. While, if you have to take the camera out, load it and aim at the subject or the situation… everything vanishes. And you are back to being the silly voyeur, inconclusive and unemployed in the function of emotions. I liked myself in the dressing room. Behind the scenes. In the dim light of my success. When the lights go out: that is when you can see real talent. Many struggle up there, for hours, months, years, without losing a single drop of sweat. Worst of all, without succeeding. - Smile! - Excitedly says the photographer. I would like to tell him: Isn’t it dangerous to smile without a soundproof reason? Social media don’t call for spontaneity. Black and white is far more honest and sincere, always. The camera most of all loves children and the elderly, for various reasons they are out of the competitive race. Maybe, with our baby bums in the air on the changing table, we were able to give off a sincere smile, a genuine one. We would dash out of the printed picture to run towards the imponderable. The becoming luckily is all to be invented. Therefore both a Polaroid and the most sophisticated camera will love any carefree and dreamy moment. Let’s look inside ourselves. Let’s look at our own inner changes. Let’s also accept our inopportune defects. A bad exposure, reflexes and a clunky shutter, all things that really do not matter. My few shots in plain clothes, outside my professional environment, have been timid testimonies; I wanted to immortalize faces, landscapes and moments. Sharing the light, half-light and the wonderfully accomplice darkness. A few eloquent frames of life that overflow from an otherwise flat, colorless and solitary existence: just like many pictures tend to be.
- SMILE!!! Someone shouted at me. - I do it 24 hours a day, I answered.
P.S.: I would like to thank Roberto Rocco for having been a friend of mine outside any darkroom. Being a friend of mine under the light of the sun. I promise I will not storm against anyone who will use cameras as long as they will not disturb my calm and mellow lifestyle.